Explain any four characteristics of Indian agriculture.
The Indian economy is primarily an agriculture oriented economy. The characteristics of Indian agriculture are as follows:
- Low productivity: The agricultural productivity of our economy is perhaps the lowest in the world. Although, it has shown a significant improvement during the last two and half decades, it continues to be as low as one fourth of that of the advanced countries. The main cause of low yield per hectare is the low fertility of the soil, and less concern to lower it through the use of green manure, fertilisers and scientific rotation of crops.
- Small and Uneconomic land holding: Land holdings are either small or marginal, i.e., less than two hectares. The small size of holdings is due to the law of inheritance, socio-cultural and economic factors. Moreover, these small holdings and fragmented fields are not suitable for modern methods of farming.
- Distribution of land: The agricultural land in India is unequally distributed. The per capita cultivable land is less than one acre.
- More emphasis on food crops: Due to the demand for food grains, priority is given to food crops rather than commercial or cash crops. The major portion of the cropped area is occupied by grain crops in the kharif and the rabi seasons. Rice, maize, millets, bajra, ragi and pulses are the main crops grown in the kharif season whereas wheat, barley and gram are grown over three-fourth of the total cropped area in the rabi season.
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